How to choose the country in which to start exporting online?

international digital marketing

Globalization has made it easier for almost any company to expand its presence internationally. You may have spotted a great opportunity or a good amount of traffic to your site from a specific country, it might be worth targeting this market further… but don't be too hasty.

For choose well the country in which to start exporting online, there are four criteria that you must take into account when deploying the new strategy:

  • Which countries are working well for you digitally.
  • In which countries do you detect opportunities?
  • In which country do you have more facility for logistics or language.
  • In which country do you mind experimenting.

How to know which countries are working well for you digitally?

This is relatively easy, you just have to go into your Google Analytics and look at it. But this is where the challenges begin that you will have to overcome as you read this book.

Do you have access to Google Analytics for your company's website? (or the web analytics program you use)

Is the program configured correctly? Is the information reliable? Do the commercial contacts indicated in “objectives” coincide with reality?

Do you have information about the gender and age of visitors to your website?

Do you have Google Analytics connected to Google Search Console in order to know the keywords that bring you traffic, in each country?

This should be your first mission. Your priority right now.

Your first exercise: get rich and reliable data. Please, contact the technical manager of your website and check the configuration of your analytics program. Have him explain the criteria with which he has set the goals.

(*) You should have configured the following objectives of your Google Analytics: forms sent from your website, phone calls generated from your website and emails sent by clicking the email that appears on your website. All this should also be linked to your CRM program.

If your technical team does not know how to configure the objectives or in general cannot configure your Google Analytics correctly, call us and we will help you. This is part of our job.

When you have this data, you will know which countries are working well for you digitally. You will now have the first criteria to choose the country in which to start exporting online.

In which countries do you detect special opportunities?

If your intuition or the data from your CRM tell you that interest in your products or your brand is increasing in a certain country, that may be a good country in which to start working on International Digital Marketing.

You may also have detected that in certain countries your competition is less, or is weaker. Or that your price range makes your products more attractive than those of the competition.

In general, reflect on which countries you could have a competitive advantage and few barriers to entry. also take into account the internet penetration in that country. At the bottom of the article I include a link to the ICEX website to a page that indicates the penetration of the Internet in the different countries of the world.

In which countries do you have advantages for logistics or language?

If your business is located in Spain and your product requires logistics, you normally start with France, Italy, Portugal or Morocco. Countries that are close to us and where, in general, logistics are well developed and have reasonable prices. If you are already exporting and have solved the main logistics challenges, in this category you can surely include all of Europe with the exception of the United Kingdom, which after Brexit will be better for you to check if your products have any restrictions or need any special treatment.

At a logistical level, the difficulties will depend a lot on your product. Whether it requires special transport (for alcohol, for example), maintenance of the cold chain (for barnacles, or chocolate...) or by volume (heavy machinery). If you have the logistics well solved then you can select any part of the world.

On the other hand, there is the issue of language. Although international trade is all done in English, attacking the French market with a website in English is not a good idea... and depending on the country, in your marketing department you will need someone who speaks the language of that country. This is going to be a key criterion when choosing the country in which to start exporting online.

What country do you not mind experimenting in?

In some companies we start with markets that are not particularly important to them and where there are no distributors. In this way, if something goes wrong during the training or there is some tension with a local distributor, nothing would happen. Sometimes we test there if we could create an e-commerce to reach installers of our product or to sell directly to the end user.

In Spain, this case is normally found in the Portuguese market. As it is a small market, it is not usually given priority online. Nor is it a market in which great efforts are made because the Portuguese are already used to dealing with Spanish companies and understand websites in this language. So it's a good market to experiment with.

After the pandemic, for example, many B2B companies have decided to try their luck in B2C commerce, that is, in electronic commerce aimed at the end user. Portugal is the ideal market to carry out this type of test. You don't even need a website in Portuguese, just have a landing page in this language, and the rest in English or Spanish. The Portuguese are great consumers of Spanish products.

With these 4 criteria you should be able to make the decision.

Resources that may be useful to you

article on International Digital Marketing (the first in the series that references the book)

article on how to do seo in russia I wrote a few months ago (before the war).

Article in which I explain how to create an Online Communication plan.

And here an article in which I explain How Social Networks work at the level of International Digital Marketing.

Web of ICEX - eMarketservices with a program that helps you to know the internet penetration in different markets.

As always, I invite you to tell me what topics, in relation to International Digital Marketing, you would like to know more about in detail. Thanks to your help, I will be creating the articles and expanding the chapters of the book.

We talk to each other


What your international website should look like

International Digital Marketing

International Digital Marketing is the set of strategies aimed at communication and online marketing of products and services, outside our country of origin. It's not as complicated as it sounds, however, entering a new market without solid preliminary research can lead to a waste of time and resources.

Your international website: In this article I explain how your website should be if you want to have a successful International Digital Marketing strategy.

Positioning is local and specific to each country

The phrase already seems like a cliché at this point… but “think globally and act locally”. Work each market differently. In the next article I will help you to know with what criteria to choose the country in which to start your digital strategy.

Any product or service must be explained from the customer's point of view. What is the customer looking for from that service or item? Use “keyword planner” type tools Google Ads to know, in that particular country, what are the keywords that people in your sector are looking for. In your web analytics program you can also see the keywords that have brought traffic, by market segments. You just need to create one segment for each country you want to analyze. Throughout the book we will show you more tools.

Check very well how you explain your product in that market. It is a common mistake not to explain yourself in a way that someone from another country understands. It's great to have someone from that country on your team.

You must show that you are international

Show that your website is international, include your telephone prefixes, indicate the address including the country and in general, show that you are an internationalized company that knows how to move on the global internet. For example, do not make a common mistake: if you do not have specific content by country, do not put the flags to change the language. If you only translate, indicate the language in which the pages are but do not assume that a language and a country are the same... you will have problems in Belgium, in Andorra and throughout Latin America...

How to find a distributor in a country?

If what you want is to get distributors, you should have a section in the menu dedicated to this topic. Indicating where you already have them and where you are looking for them. Explain what you offer them and how they can contact you to find out more.

Your commercial team must take care of their Personal Brand on networks such as Linkedin or its equivalent in the target country. It is important that your profiles are in English, at a minimum, and that your image is correct.

You should also be present in the marketplaces and industry directories of that country... but we will talk about this in another article.

your international website

Companies always ask us if they should buy a new domain name, an international extension or if they can continue with their old website. Well, the answer is complicated and you must make your decision.

There are 3 options: a multi-regional website, a multilingual website and a global website.

Multi-regional websites require multiple websites for each country. This is usually done when you have subsidiaries or distributors in that country. And where they will be the ones who will manage your local website. It is a totally independent website that will require all kinds of digital marketing actions. It has the advantage that it is automatically geolocated in local search engines.

A multilingual website is a single website, but with different versions. Much more manageable at the level of SEO and resources in Digital Marketing. In general, it benefits from any action that is carried out at a general level.

An English-only global website would be the easiest way to offer your services. It is ideal if your audience is international and normally communicates in this language. But we have already commented that for certain markets this is not a good idea. Most global websites end up segmenting by country and language.

I'll explain it in more detail in the book (sorry, I don't want to make these super long blog posts... and I already commented in the previous article that this series of articles that I'm going to publish from now on are part of the Export 4.0 book that I'm working on). writing).

Resources that will help you

article on International Digital Marketing (the first in the series that references the book)

article on how to do seo in russia I wrote a few months ago (before the war).

Article in which I explain how to create an Online Communication plan.

And here an article in which I explain How Social Networks work at the level of International Digital Marketing.

I invite you to tell me what topics, in relation to International Digital Marketing, you would like to know more about in detail. Thanks to your help, I will be creating the articles and expanding the chapters of the book.

We talk to each other


International Digital Marketing

Why do I like Marketing?

This fall I was thinking of going to Bali to telecommute from there for a couple of months. I have taken the entire first semester of leave from the University and I have scheduled the meetings with clients, concentrating them all on 2 days a week to have the rest free and be able to get to know the island... but you have intuited correctly... this is not going to happen... destiny has colluded with all those who said it couldn't be done and I had to cancel the trip. This is not bad news, although it may seem so. Actually, I can't go to Bali because a World Tourism Organization project came out in Mexico in November and possibly another, from the same organization in Tanzania in December. I have also taken the opportunity to say yes to a conference to which I was invited in Veracruz. So… goodbye Bali, hello Monterrey and Veracruz and hello Tanzania!

Why do I explain this type of intimacy? Well, to illustrate the importance of International Digital Marketing. Both projects are related to my specialty: helping companies and organizations make the most of the potential of Digital Marketing to make themselves known and to find customers on the internet... for Tourism it is fundamental and for exporting companies too... and how earth is flat (quoting Freeman) Digital Marketing today is almost mandatory to be International.

What is International Digital Marketing?

He International Digital Marketing is the set of strategies aimed at online communication and marketing outside our country of origin of products and services.

Thanks to the Internet we can reach any part of the world with the same cost as if it were next to home. Only some techniques are different from national Digital Marketing (to call it somehow).

How is International Digital Marketing different from what is not?

They are very similar, if we do not take into account that one aims to penetrate the market at a national level and the other aims to enter a new market, in another country, which is normally not known in depth. There are several things you should keep in mind, I list them below:

  • Every market is different: the needs of our target audience, the ways to search the internet, what they call our product, etc.
  • Online tools are also different: Although Google dominates the search engine market, in countries like Russia or China, they have their own search tools. Also social networks are different.
  • You have to choose the country well: When deciding which markets you want to enter, you should take into account if you have competitive advantages there, if you already have visits from that website, what is the logistics like to get to that country,… among others.
  • Your website should be international: (I will explain this point in the next article).

Why is International Digital Marketing important for your company?

Exporting and expanding a business internationally is a great way to grow and scale a business. And even more, if you do it through the Internet. However, in most companies, the Export department is separated from the Digital Marketing department, the latter being in charge of marketing at the country level, and forgetting the entire international strategy.

Seeing the lack that companies have of having help in this last aspect, this summer I have begun to write my fourth book, this time, dedicated to International Digital Marketing, it will be called “Export 4.0” and it is not finished yet. In fact, I'm going to write chapters and publish some of them on this blog to get feedback and improve the content. I invite you to ask me questions and indicate what you would like to know about it.

In the meantime, here are some resources…

Resources that will help you

International Digital Marketing Course in ACTION: starts next week. We teach it from Quadrant Alpha, so we will see you there. 44 hours of International Digital Marketing, at your disposal for free.

Help to export thanks to International Digital Marketing: to this day there are still funds. It will be open until October 28. Let me know if you want me to help you apply for this grant (for Catalan companies).

article on how to do seo in russia I wrote a few months ago (before the war).

Article in which I explain how to create an Online Communication plan.

And here an article in which I explain How Social Networks work at the level of International Digital Marketing.

I hope you find this information useful.

I reiterate what I said: what aspects of international digital marketing would you like to know more about?

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